'Please give me a go': Dad just wants a home for his girls
A SINGLE father with two young daughters is pleading for help after failing to secure a rental property in Casino for more than a year.
Casino local Dwayne Townsend has been pro actively applying for rental properties for himself and daughters' Ebony, 9, and Niquetta, 10, through "all of the real estate agencies in Casino," and believes the property owners are rejecting him because he is receiving a disability pension, parenting payments and is not working.
"I can't work," he said.
"I broke my leg badly in an accident and suffer from severe osteo arthritis and gout ... I'm pretty much buggered.
"I've been trying for so long, I just wish someone would give us a chance."
Mr Townsend said he had previously rented a property through PRD Nationwide Casino for five and a half years and had good rental references, but at times, agents would tell him he did not meet the application criteria.
"It's because of the rental shortage in this town" he said.
"It's also because rent is that dear here, but with my payments combined I can afford the rent.
"But it's also because I'm a single dad on disability...I get so down and depressed about it and just think I'm worthless."
Mr Townsend and his daughters have been staying with his mother's partner in Casino while he looks for accommodation.
"We can't stay here much longer, we've been here long enough and mum's not real well," he said.
"I don't know what we'll do when we do have to leave."
Mr Townsend said he had explored all of the avenues in terms of government support and has been placed on waiting lists for both Government housing assistance and North Coast Community Housing.
"They don't know how long the wait is for both, but we've moved up the list for housing assistance," he said.
He pleaded for anyone with a private vacant or upcoming rental property to give him "a break".
"Please give me a go, I have two little girls and they deserve their own rooms in their own home," he said.
Mr Townsend can be contacted on 0458 510 442.
Owner of Casino Real Estate Mark Simpkins said social media was partially to blame for the decline in owners choosing to rent their property through an agent.
"They can use it to find their own tenants," he said.
"People seem to know about a source or know when people are moving out of properties before the real estate does.
"People are going with people they know over real estates these days.
He advised Mr Townsend to keep applying for properties.
"I don't see anything about his situation as a problem," he said.
"If they can make the rent of a week, have a good rental history and have good references, that is basically what I work off in my business.
"Deciding on the tennant is the owners decision ultimately, we just present them with all the information."
A Family and Community Services spokesperson said the NSW Government supports people to maintain tenancies in the private market with things like a loan to secure a rental bond or a subsidy if people get into rent arrears as a result of an unavoidable event.
"FACS Housing operates Rentstart to provide financial assistance for eligible clients to help them set up or maintain a tenancy in the private rental market," they said.
"Under Rentstart, FACS Housing may be able to assist a person with a loan of up to 75 per cent of their rental bond to establish a tenancy in the private market. The loan is interest free and repayable to FACS Housing."
A Private Rental Subsidy is also available which assists people to access affordable accommodation in the private rental market. Housing Call Centre on 1800 422 322 can help.
An individual can apply for Temporary Accommodation by attending local FACS office or contacting Link2Home on 1800 152 152.
The spokesperson said there were a range of local service providers who could provide direct assistance to Mr Townsend including:
- Casino Neighbourhood Centre
- Social Futures Lismore
- Achieve Australia
- DAISI - (Disability, Aged, Information Service Inc)